JOHOR BARU: The event was organised by the Cerebral Palsy Association of Johor (CPAJ) in conjunction with Chinese New Year.
This was the first time the association had organised the event and the idea was mooted by its chairman Tunku Yan Naziha Tunku Laxamana Nasir.
CPAJ offers academic and co-curricular programmes for those suffering from cerebral palsy from pre-school level up to year six.
Adults with the ailment are also often recruited for the sheltered workshop section at the association.
Held at the association hall at Jalan Dato’ Menteri, here recently, the gathering was also attended by parents, officials of CPAJ and other VIPs.
The guest-of-honour was Tunku Temenggong Johor, Tunku Idris Iskandar Sultan Ibrahim.
Some of the highlights of the half-day gathering were a lion dance, 24-drum beat performance, tossing of the yee sang, presentation of ang pow packets to children by Tunku Idris and a cultural dance.
A lion dance was held to welcome Tunku Idris who arrived at 9.30am.
On hand to greet Tunku Idris were Tunku Yan Nazihah, her deputy Datuk Rahmat Abdul Rahman, officials and guests.
The programme continued with a lion dance performance by members of the Johor Baru Gerakan Youth division members while the JB Drum group showcased their drumming talents.
Both performances received an overwhelming response from the spectators.
A representative from Kwang Ying Temple who acted as the Cai Shen Ye (God of Fortune) also distributed packets to elderly guests.
“He reminds me of his mother, Raja Zarith Sofiah Sultan Idris Shah, the consort of the Sultan of Johor who is just as friendly and compassionate,” she said.
Raja Zarith Sofiah is also CPAJ’s patron.
The highlight of the event was the tossing of the yee sang by Tunku Idris and other VIPs.
As lunch was served, Tunku Idris and other guests were feted to a tai chi demonstration and fan dance performed by the staff and teachers.
The teachers, clad in colourful Chinese traditional costumes wooed the crowd.
The centre’s spokesman M. Kanan said the performers, comprising staff from the academic and rehabilitation programmes, had practiced for about one month before performing on stage.
The finale included the Gong Xi Gong Xi performed by a choir comprising pre-schoolers and sheltered workshop members as well as the centre’s employees.
The choir was conducted by Asiah Abdul Aziz.
As Tunku Idris was leaving the centre, the guests and children rushed out to shake his hand.
Tunku Idris posed for pictures with the guests and performers before leaving.
Meanwhile, Tunku Yan thanked donors, sponsors and the centre’s teachers and staff for their overwhelming support.